“Sculpture is a visual language. Using recycled materials is not only a powerful image about our choices, but also connects the audience to the artwork through their own personal experiences with those materials.”


Biography

Artist Christopher Fennell builds structural skeletons from discarded or found objects. The materials he chooses have been cast out or devalued by society and so his selections are based on the kind of message or impact each piece should convey. This is how a demolished barn can become a wave, broken bicycles transform into a tornado, and downed trees can be given a second life as a pillar of fire.

Chris’s creative inspiration comes from two places: engineering and art. His background in engineering provides a singular understanding of how the materials can be formed, shaped and connected into a structure. His vision as an artist and his sense of humor bring the parts together in a form that is not only pleasing, but often thought-provoking and dynamic, challenging the viewer to look past the recognizable shape to see how everything is connected.

Many of Chris’s pieces encourage people to participate, to place themselves inside or to pass underneath and through, seeing the form from several angles. Each piece is site-specific, taking advantage of the surrounding landscape and architecture and often incorporating regional or cultural hallmarks. The placement of every piece of sculpture is carefully selected for the maximum effect of discovery and scale.

Exhibitions

  • Industrial Pipe Wave, 4000' of salvaged fire sprinkler pipe, Scottsdale, Arizona 2015.
  • Hoops Playing Hoops, Outdoor, Steel Pipe, Backboards and patrons’ basketballs, Raleigh, NC 2014.
  • Boat Fish, Outdoor Installation, Fish inspired Bus Stop Shelter from 4 used alum boats, Sarasota, FL 2014.
  • Tool Fire, Outdoor Installation, used hand tools, Monument for volunteers 2010 flood, Nashville, TN 2013.
  • Sail Trapeze Benches, Outdoor Installation, salvaged truck frames and pipe, Saint Petersburg, FL 2013.
  • Steel Guitar, Outdoor Installation, used truck frames, where Elvis played first concert, Memphis, TN 2012.
  • Skate Trees, Outdoor Installation, used skate boards into "leaf" benches and trees, Norfolk, VA 2012.
  • Rail Ladder Fire, Outdoor Installation, used train rails and decommissioned fire ladders, Allen, TX 2011.
  • Osprey Sunscreen and Fish Benches, Outdoor Installations, Wall Springs Park, Palm Harbor, FL 2011.
  • Canoe Wave, Lewis and Clark Monument, used aluminum canoes, Lewiston, ID, 2011.
  • Ladder Fire, Outdoor Installation, decommissioned fire ladders, Fire Station #48, Clearwater, FL, 2011.
  • Tree Tornadoes, Indoor Installation, scrap from wood milling process, Space 301, Mobile, AL, 2010.
  • Bats Baseball, Outdoor Installation, 800 used aluminum bats, Southside Park, Atlanta, GA, 2009.
  • Lawn Mower Leaves, Outdoor Installation, 600 used blades, University of Maine at Farmington, ME 2009.
  • Bell’e Art, Barn Devil, Entrance Installation, Scottsdale, AZ 2009.
  • Artists’ Fire, Center Installation for Magic City Arts Festival, Birmingham, AL, 2009.
  • Barn Tornado, Outdoor Installation, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, 2009.
  • Rafter Trapeeze, Public Art Installation, Robert’s Recreation Center, St.Pete, FL, 2008.
  • Stacking Order, Collaboration w/ Christine Lee, Indoor Installation, University Arkansas Little Rock, AR, 2008.
  • Boston Tea Cup, Outdoor Installation, Needham, MA, 2008.
  • Tree Passage, Outdoor Installation, Messiah College, Grantham, PA, 2007.
  • Wedding Sculpture, Outdoor Installation, St. Mary’s, Sewanee, TN, 2007.
  • Driftwood Wave, Outdoor Installation, The Figge Museum, Davenport, IA, 2007.
  • Tree Doorways, Outdoor Installation Chattanooga State College, Chattanooga, TN, 2007.
  • Tree Chair, ArtInPlace, Juried Exhibition, Outdoor Installation, Charlottesville, VA, 2006.
  • Austin Green, Bamboo Flower, Outdoor Installation, Austin, TX, 2006.
  • Dock Fish, Outdoor Installation, St. Andrews , Sewanee, TN, 2006.
  • Burning Chair, Outdoor Installation, Lowery Gallery, Danielsville, GA. 2006.
  • Green Wave Exhibition, Cedar Moth, Outdoor Installation, Austin, TX, 2005.
  • Students Wave, Workshop/Outdoor Installation, Walking Church, Young Harris, GA, 2005.
  • Maple Sail, Outdoor Installation, Private Collection, Woodstock, VT, 2005.
  • House Flower, West Arlington Ecopark, Outdoor Installation, Birmingham, Alabama, 2004.
  • Board Caterpillar, Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center, Outdoor Installation, Birmingham, AL, 2004.
  • Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant Exhibition, Roof Well, Installation Cue Art Foundation, New York, NY, 2004.
  • Tree Arroyo, Outdoor Installation, Aztec, NM, 2004.
  • Fire Ball, Performance/Outdoor Installation, Red Mesa, Colorado, 2004.
  • Tree Spiral, Outdoor Installation, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM, 2004.
  • Dock Wave, Outdoor Installation, Visual Arts Building, University of South Florida, 2003.
  • Albuquerque Contemporary Juried Exhibition, Board Caterpillar, Installation, Albuquerque, NM 2003.
  • Sky Boat. Outdoor Installation, Lowery Gallery, Danielsville, GA. 2002.
  • Barn Mother. Outdoor Installation, Conner Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. 2002.
  • MFA Show. Tree Roof. Indoor Installation, Georgia Museum, Athens, GA. 2002.
  • Tree House. Outdoor Installation, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. 2001.
  • Barn Wave. Outdoor Installation, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. 2000.

Awards and Honorariums

  • Sculpted Green, Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition 2008, Outdoor Installation, Bellevue, WA 2008.
  • Honorable Mention, National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, North Charleston, SC 2008.
  • Brock Commons Outdoor Sculpture, Juried, Longwood University, Farmville, VA 2008.
  • Sculpture on Sample, Juried, Outdoor Installation, Coral Springs, FL 2007.
  • You, Me and the Bus, Juried, Bus Stop Bus Shelter, Athens, GA 2007.
  • The Sculpture Park at City Hall, Juried, Outdoor Map, Redding, CA 2007.
  • Uptown Sculpture Walk, Juried, Paddle Wave, Outdoor Installation, Columbus, GA 2007.
  • 20th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Juried, Tree Arch, Outdoor Installation, Lawrence, KS, 2007.
  • Grand Esplanade Award, Sculpture Key West 2007, Fort Zachary, Key West, Fl, 2007.
  • People’s Choice Award, 2nd Annual Public Art Exhibition, Foundation Art Center, St. Charles, MO, 2006.
  • Second Bi-Annual Sculpture Exhibition, Juried, Outdoor Installation, Chattanooga, TN, 2006.
  • Second Place, Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition, Juried Exhibition, Winter Haven, FL, 2006.
  • Best of Show, ArtInPlace, Juried Exhibition, Outdoor Installation, Charlottesville, VA, 2005.
  • The Lot, Juried Exhibition, Tree Dome, Outdoor Installation, New Haven, CT, 2005.
  • Turchin Art Center Outdoor Sculpture, Juried Exhibition, Board Caterpillar, Boone, NC, 2005.
  • Best of Show, The Sculpture Salmagundi 9, Indoor and Outdoor Juried Exhibition, Rocky Mount, NC 2005.
  • Outward Westward Exhibition, Tree Wave, Outdoor Installation, Riverton, WY, 2005.
  • Sculpture Salmagundi VII, Juried Exhibition, Bow Wave, Outdoor Installation, Rocky Mount, NC, 2003.
  • Earthworks, Walking Trees, Installation in Baboon Area, North Carolina Zoological Park, Asheboro, NC. 2002.
  • Start Up Grant, The Joan Mitchell Foundation, Inc. New York, NY. 2002.
  • Outstanding Student Achievement In Contemporary Sculpture, International Sculpture Center, 2002.
  • Research Grant. Bicycle Tornado. Outdoor Installation Ramsey Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. 2001.
  • Patent Design Award. Motorola, Boynton Beach, FL. 1991.
  • Design Award. American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 1989.

Publications

  • Landscape Installation Art, Book, Bus Stop and Skate Benches, pgs 206-209, Ifengspace, 2012.
  • AIT, German Architecture Magazine, "Detail - Bus stop shelter from Christopher Fennell", pg 145, May, 2011.
  • Iddeco, Tunesian Art Magazine, "Design avec objects recycles." pg 25, April 2011.
  • Blue Ridge Outdoors, "Green Heroes", Jedd Ferris, July, 2007.
  • New York Times, "In, Under and Around", Ben Genocchio, Section 14, January 22, 2006.
  • Rocky Mount Telegram, "Sculpture Event", Fred Marion, b1 July 21, 2005.
  • Austin American Statesman, "Turning Two Pest Into Art", Clair Osborn, b1 June 20, 2005.
  • Sculpture Magazine, vol 21 no 8 Oct 2002.

Education

  • MFA. Sculpture. University of Georgia. 2002
  • BA. Sculpture. University of South Florida. 1993
  • BSME. Mechanical Engineering. University of South Florida. 1989